1. A technique for measuring gastric emptying in growing pigs by complete removal of digesta through a gastric cannula is described.
2. Four pigs were fitted with gastric cannulas and each was used in three trials.
3. The effects of level of feeding (trial 1), cellulose (C), maize-oil (MO) or sucrose (SU) supplementation (trial 2) and the level of water intake (trial 3) on gastric emptying of digesta, dry matter (DM) and nitrogen from a barley-weatings-soya-bean (B) diet were measured during 4 h after the morning feed.
4. In trial 1, pigs were given 0.66, 0.83, 1. 00 or 1. 17 times their standard level of feeding. As the level of feeding rose, so the weight of digesta, DM and N emptied in the first hour after feeding increased. This trend continued to some extent in the second hour, but no effects of level of feeding were seen in the third and fourth hours.
5. In trial 2, maize-oil addition to the diet significantly reduced the gastric-emptying rate of DM in the second hour after feeding, compared with the rates for diet C. The rate of N emptying was significantly slower for diets MO and SU than for diet C.
6. In trial 3 there were no significant effects of water intake level (1. 75, 2. 50 and 3. 25 times the weight of diet) on the rate of DM or N emptying from the stomach. The rate of digesta (and thus of water) emptying in the first hour after feeding increased significantly as the water intake rose.
7. It was concluded that because the pattern of gastric emptying was very similar despite large differences in nutritional inputs, an important property of the process appeared to be resilience.